So...I was invited on a group riding trip to one of Southern California's most famous riding areas, Ocotillo Wells. I was pumped for the opportunity as I've heard good things and seen amazing photos from this freerider's paradise. It was to be a short trip as we were leaving Thursday night and coming back Saturday morning but I was excited none the less.
We rolled into camp around 10:30pm and my counterpart, BC, informed me we would be riding into the wee hours of the morning. Somewhere around midnight we geared up and caravan'd into the abyss. I blindly followed BC through the switch backs and cork screws that are Ocotillo, desperately trying to keep up which proved to be quite the task.
The evening culminated around 2:30 AM when one of our UTV patrons zigged when he should have zagged and careened down an embankment. Three cartwheels resulted in a blown rear tire, cracked fuel tank and a bent bumper which inhibited a front tire from rotating freely. After a few failed attempts at bending the bumper back someone took off for camp to find some tools and a spare tire. At least an hour later, after much debate and a failed attempt at removing the bumper, we finally returned to camp around 3:45am. I nestled myself into BC's luxurious travel trailer pondering the last time I had been awake at that hour and decided it must have been a lock in I attended sometime while in JR High. I've certainly been awake at that hour before, but it was beggining my day...not ending it.
The next day's events began around 10:30 (thank you Lord) with the master minds of camp working to patch the cracked fuel tank from the previous nights excitement. I am truly amazed at the resourcefulness of these guys. Not that they gave me any reason to doubt them, they were simply bound and determined to fix that tank with the supplies on hand. Using a soldering iron and plastic shavings from the fuel tank they were able to "weld" the cracked fuel tank and restore it to like new condition. Note: Previous attempts revealed that zip ties and shavings from the stock Rhino skid plate would not correctly adhere to the surface, resulting in a brittle and nonfunctional bead.
After finishing up the Rhino we geared up for another ride out into the wide open desert. Ocotillo Wells is some of the craziest and most scenic terrain I've ever ridden. If you're an offroader you must make it here sometime in your life.
If you've read this far considering there are no pictures to go along with my story, you have my thanks. The reason being I took a little spill while trailing BC through the sand and suffice to say my camera broke my fall. Though the debacle ended with me resting uncomfortably beneath my quad, I emerged mostly unscathed and thankfully my quad was still in tact. We pressed on and I survived the rest of the trip.
Upon arriving back at my truck this morning I discovered that someone had lovingly smashed my windshield and two other windows. Come to find out a worker at the restaurant where I had left it attempted to scare them off and had a wrench thrown at him in the process. Suffice to say Duke, the restaurant owner, is ready to form a posse to track down the culprits.
While this unfortunate event has thrown yet another hiccup into my adventure, it has allowed me a great blessing and an opportunity to get more acquainted with another couple from my church. I informed Alex (youth pastor at Life Church) of my predicament and asked for his assistance in some form that would enable me to make it to church this weekend. He and his wife Leslie graciously offered to lend me a car until my truck is fixed and what's more, I had the opportunity to spend the evening with them and their family. I am truly amazed at God's provision and guidance on this voyage and had a wonderful time chatting with them and hanging with their kids as they prepared for an evening of trick or treating. So Alex and Leslie, words cannot describe my thanks for the car and home cooked meal. The salmon was off the hook! (no pun intended) :)
That's all for now. I'm off to hang with my buddy Adrian and his girlfriend. Thanks to all for your prayers and support. This has been and continues to be the craziest and most incredible experience of my life. I'm not entirely sure where it's going but I could say I'm learning to embrace Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man charts his course, but the Lord determines his steps."